Some people are naturally meant to be social butterflies. They are great with speaking in public, can make friends with anyone and are good with conversation. Those people normally don't have any issues with being in public. This isn't true with the large majority of people, though. Some are socially awkward and don't know how to communicate with people or keep conversations going.
Steps to Overcoming Social Awkwardness
The good news is there are ways to overcome this and find a new way to be more social!
Step 1. Talk to more people
Even if you're talking about something simple, talking with people you don't know is a great way to become more social. Go out and have short conversations at bars or at sporting events. Once you do this more often, you are going to get a lot more comfortable with it. You can even start off by having some online conversations. While these won't be the same as real life situations, you can still figure out which subjects you might want to talk about. When you do start talking to a lot of different people, you will learn how to be more personable and interesting. Even just watching how other people respond to different situations can teach you a lot. This is going to be difficult for some, but will get easier with time. Anyone can have a short conversation with a stranger!
Step 2. Smiles and eye contact
Making eye contact during interaction is very important. This doesn't mean staring someone down, it simply means acknowledging them. Looking at someone every few seconds will show that you are involved with what they are saying. If you're just looking around the room all the time, they will quickly become not interested with talking to you. Smiling is something you can do with anyone. See someone on the street? Smile at them! You don't even have to speak with a person to smile at them. The best part about this is that it makes you look friendlier. That smile you put on someone else's face will also carry on, so a lot more people will be smiling because of you.
Step 3. Eat with other people
The best time for conversation is over a good meal. If you're used to going out and eating by yourself, try something different. Ask friends out to eat with you so you can have a conversation during the meal. You can talk about the food at first and then move onto different subjects. Since there are a lot of things to talk about this can reduce the amount of awkwardness you feel.
Step 4. Gain confidence
When you feel more confident about yourself, you are bound to be less socially awkward in no time. Confidence comes in many forms, so choose which you want. This could be getting a new outfit or hair cut so you feel great with the way you look. It could also mean asking someone out on a date! When you have confidence, the anxiety about social situations can seem a lot less of a challenge. Don't let yourself have negative self-image thoughts. Try to be more positive with the way you view yourself and your abilities to make friends.
Step 5. Reduce the pressure
You don't have to have an amazing interaction with every single person you meet. Sometimes it will be something quick and easy, then you move on. Learn from any of the mistakes you make and always try to improve in the future. Never go into a social situation thinking that you have to be perfect. Just go with the flow of things and have some fun! When you stop over-thinking situations you are going to have a much better time.
Step 6. Find conversation topics
Before you go out, think of different topics you can talk about. This will arm you with fun things you can discuss with different people. It will also mean you possibly avoiding generic conversations about the weather. Once you get rolling with a topic, more things should come up naturally. Try to ask questions so you can get more out of a topic and make it more fun. Talking about horses could lead to stories about childhood hobbies or even stories of friends, you never know what might come up. Being socially awkward isn't the end of the world. Once you gain confidence and learn how to read people, it will come naturally. You can meet a lot of great people when you're more open to speaking with them.
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